Campus Dining

Location
Irvine, CA
Undergrads
21,881
Tuition (in-state)
$36,000 ($13,122)
Admission Difficulty
Average
More statistics . . .
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Reviews

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4 College Junior

Campus Dining: I frequently went to the dinning commons to eat and i loved it!

5 College Freshman

Campus Dining: There are dining halls in both Mesa Court and Middle Earth, plus many other options on campus like starbucks, subway, panda express, as well as off campus, such as chipotle, blaze pizza, cha for tea, etc.

4 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Watch out for freshman 15.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Campus Dining: The dining options are splendid on campus, with a decent variety of dining areas representing a decent amount of kosher options. It is all fairly affordable for the college student.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: It's okay when I am starving.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 91st
    Best Late-Night Dining Options
  • 145th
    Healthiest Dining Options
  • 161st
    Best Cafeteria Variety
  • 181st
    Best Ethnic/Kosher Options
  • 251st
    Best Quality Food

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Tracey Xuan Nguyen
Hometown
Hawthorne, CA
Major
Business Economics
View all previous student authors

On-campus dining at UCI is not exactly the Four Seasons, but then again, what college food really is? Yes, after months of the same food from the same menu, dining options can get really old really fast. However, many transfer students at UCI agree that the food on other campuses is not quite as good as the food here. One obvious benefit of on-campus dining at UCI is that there are not only dorm cafeterias (Pippin, Mesa Commons), but also the commuter and faculty cafeterias that serve some decent fast food, like Brandywine. Unfortunately, however, those places aren’t covered by your dining card and can be a bit pricey for many college students. Eventually, though, students might get sick of eating on campus and will have to dig into their pockets. Before this happens, though, try eating at Brandywine, which most students agree is about the best the meal plan has to offer.

If after trying all of the on-campus options—which you will probably accomplish in less than a year—you’re still famished for more, then you can always take on a low meal plan and walk to the University Town Center (UTC) and get some decent food. In-N-Out, Del Taco, and Taco Bell are all student favorites. Although many students gripe and complain about the repetitiveness of the dining hall menus, most will admit that UCI students have it better than students from other colleges.

Facts & Statistics

Meal Plan Available?
Yes
Average Meals/Week
15
Freshman Meal Plan Required?
Yes
Student Favorites
Brandywine
24-Hour Dining
None, but Cornerstone Café is open 24 hours during finals week.
Off-Campus Places to Use Flex Money
None

Dining Halls & Campus RestaurantsWhat's This?

Anthill Pub & Grille
Location: Student Center
Food: Pub food
Hours: Monday 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Tuesday-Wednesday 11 a.m.-12 a.m., Thursday-Friday 11 a.m.-1 a.m.
BC's Cavern on the Green
Location: Between Steinhaus Hall and Schneiderman Lecture Hall
Food: Deli, Italian, Mexican, salad bar, snacks
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Bene's Pizza Pasta
Location: East Food Court in Student Center
Food: Pasta, pizza
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Bistro By The Bridge
Location: Humanities Instructional Building
Food: Hamburgers, hot dogs, snacks
Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Brandywine
Location: Next to the Middle Earth basketball courts
Food: American, sandwiches
Hours: Monday-Wednesday 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Thursday-Friday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
C3 (Convenience Store)
Location: Social Science Plaza A
Food: Coffee, grab-and-go items
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Café Espresso
Location: In front of Reines Hall
Food: Coffee, pastries, sandwiches
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Café Med
Location: School of Medicine at West Peltason and Academy Way
Food: Salads, sandwiches
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Cornerstone Café
Location: UCI Student Center
Food: Baked goods, sandwiches
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m.-9 p.m.
Cyber A Café
Location: Arts Plaza
Food: Coffee, pastries, salads, sandwiches
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Los Nietos
Location: Outside administration building on Ring Mall
Food: Asian, Mexican
Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Mesa Commons
Location: Mesa Court housing complex
Food: Buffet-style
Hours: Monday-Wednesday 7:15 a.m.-9 a.m., 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Thursday 7:15 a.m.-9 a.m., 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday 7:15 a.m.-9 a.m., 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Organic Greens-to-Go
Location: East Food Court in Student Center
Food: Salad
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Phoenix Grille
Location: Between Social Science Hall and Engineering Tower
Food: Bagels, burritos, grill, snacks, sushi
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Pippin Commons
Location: Middle Earth housing complex
Food: Buffet-style
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:15 a.m.-2 p.m., 4:30 p.m.-8 p.m., Friday 7:15 a.m.-2 p.m., 4:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Quiznos
Location: West Food Court in Student Center
Food: Sandwiches
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Rice Garden
Location: West Food Court in Student Center
Food: Asian
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Starbucks
Location: Next to the bookstore
Food: Coffee, pastries
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-12 a.m., Friday 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tortilla Express
Location: West Food Court in Student Center
Food: Mexican
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
The UCI Bookstore Convenience Store
Location: UCI Student Center
Food: Snacks
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
University Club
Location: Between Physical Sciences Plaza and Engineering ICS plaza on Ring Mall
Food: Friday barbecues, full service dining room
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m.
Wendy's
Location: West Food Court in Student Center
Food: Fast food
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m.-10 p.m.
Zot-n-Go Market
Location: Student Center
Food: Convenience store
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Student Polls

Rate campus dining on the following topics    Based on 135 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Convenient hours
  • Ethnic/kosher options
  • Healthy/organic options
  • Late-night options
  • Quality
  • Value
  • Variety/number of options
  • Vegetarian/vegan options

What are the worst things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 16 responses

  • 23% No variety in choices
  • 19% Meal swipes do not rollover
  • 15% Food is sometimes very greasy
  • 15% Food is pretty unhealthy
  • 15% Food is bland and starts to all taste the same
  • 12% Not much FlexDine

What are the best food options on campus?    Based on 15 responses

  • 42% Food Court in Student Center
  • 21% Pippin Commons
  • 17% Starbucks
  • 8% I usually go to BC's Cavern.
  • 8% Mesa Commons
  • 4% Phoenix Food Court

What are the best things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 15 responses

  • 39% Food and limited swipes for under budget
  • 33% Food and possibility of unlimited swipes
  • 17% A variety of selection
  • 11% Unlimited swipes

What are the worst food options on campus?    Based on 13 responses

  • 62% Mesa Commons
  • 38% The food court near the Student Center
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